Updated: Jun 9, 2018
As I type this, I am internally screeching with joy because not only is it a topic I hold dearly to my heart but something I am most passionate about learning and speaking. A topic that I believe is as crucial to spread awareness and information on, as mental health. Now, before I continue, I do acknowledge that this topic can tend to be very divisive and sensitive among those who are offended by [...] love. (If you sensed the sarcasm, you were correct)
HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT A DISORDER
If you've read the 'About' section, then you'll notice my mentioning of raising awareness on not only mental health, sexuality, different (sometimes controversial) topics, but raising awareness on the LGBTQI2-S community is a huge goal of mine. I've had multiple people ask me since my first post, what IS LGBTQI2-S? Frequent questions I've received are, "Gay and Queer are two different things?", "What's two-spirit?", "What is intersex?!", these questions by no means make a person ignorant, on the contrary, at least they are inquiring resources of information. It has been said that Plato once said, "Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil". Thus, why passing along awareness and informational, factual knowledge will ALWAYS be essential in life.
What does the acronym LGBTQI2-S stand for? (elaborated into simplest terms possible)
- Lesbian (a woman who is physically, mentally and emotionally attracted to other women)
- Gay (a man who is psychically, mentally and emotionally attracted to other men)
- Bisexual (a person who is physically, mentally and emotionally attracted to other men or women)
- Transgender (a person who identifies as the opposite of their biologically assigned sex)
- Queer (a person who is attracted to men, women, genderqueer, and/or other gender nonconforming people)
- Intersex (ex. a woman who is born with sex characteristics of a male or a male who is born with sex characteristics of a female) which btw, I am not okay and cannot comprehend the decision making of doctors and parents, assigning their child a sex at birth when born intersex)
- Two-spirit (this is a modern term that pertains to indigenous cultures, such as the Navajo tribe)
First of all, I'd like to advise everyone to stop telling others that their orientation and/or identification is a 'phase', 'wrong' or *gags* 'sinful'.
GENDER IS NOT BINARY
Although, we have advanced in the LGBT community since the Stonewall Riots which took place on June 28, 1969. Marsha P. Johnson, whom was a drag queen, if you may not know was an OUTSPOKEN, determined, activist for gay rights. She actually played a huge part in the Stonewall riot back in 69' (if you haven't seen The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson on netflix, it's totally a must). Harvey Milk who was also a gay rights activist, who was elected as the city supervisor in San Francisco, (if you haven't seen the movie Milk, it's another must watch).
All of these individuals sure have had some historical impacts on where we are today in regards to LGBT matters, but have we really progressed enough? Its funny, (no it's not but it's a phrase.. I'm sure you all get what I mean) because just today, I was involved in a discussion with a gentleman who stated that "equality is bullshit, gays are going to end up down the same path as African-Americans", I was just so perplexed. I literally rearranged my sitting position to further listen, and debate. As much back and fourth as there was to that discussion, equality isn't bullshit.
Perhaps, the thought of equality can seem rather unfeasible to some. But if you ask me, it is that exact way of thinking that keeps us from reaching equality. If one person has that opinion formed and standing by it (and hey we are all entitled to our own opinions), imagine how many other people with that opinion exist. I can see the side of the coin where, in essence, we as humans will never be 'equal' per se, because we are all psychologically and biologically different. We may not be too different, but we are all distinct.
It is 2018 and it is honestly mind boggling to me, the amount of hostility, pestering, and discomfort others still have towards anyone who may be a part of the LGBT community. If you know me, you know I am all about my LGBT pride. I know to a lot of people, it may come off as super 'odd' because I do identify as a cis-gender, heterosexual female but I don't see why that would or should affect my participation in the community to raise awareness. Racism and the LGBT community are two totally different spectrum's.
Plenty of times, I have heard people say "well the more we keep talking about gays, the more people are becoming gay!" [...] NEWS FRIGGIN' FLASH, you don't "become" gay. Homosexuality has been around since, pfft, since we as humans came to be. If we go back into historical writings, Socrates, Michael Focault had terms such as gay or bisexual. If you really look into Plato's writings, he describes individuals presenting clear homosexuality. Back in Greek Mythology, men who had male lovers were not identified as homosexuals and for the most part, they all had wives or simply had a woman. Did you know bisexual used to mean prostitution?
I can go on forever on how homosexuality has been around since 'Before Christ' (if you believe in all that), and it is not going anywhere nor will it change. Individuals have just become smarter at hiding their true orientation/identifications. No one should feel the need to hide who they are. We see shitty people doing shitty things all the time, and they don't bother hiding it [...] and that's something worth changing in yourself and hiding. Who you love or what you prefer is not something that needs to be changed, ever. And if anyone has ever given you that impression, they were wrong.
The fact this is still an on-going argument and debate, is absolutely ridiculous to me and I am sure plenty of others. The hostility and lack of acceptance for one another simply because of who we love is so saddening. Being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, or two-spirit is NOT a limitation.
Even though, I do plan on working in the future with individuals that identify as LGBT, my main focus will be Transgenders. There is so much apathy and lack of knowledge and empathy when it comes to transgender individuals. People do not wake up one morning and say to themselves, "Hey, I think I want to be a girl/boy today!" (I've heard that assumption actually come out of someone's mouth once). There are people who go their ENTIRE lives uncomfortable in their own skin! Some people marry, have families, continue about their life feeling like anything but their true selves, and at that point as an adult, the chances of coming out are less likely. About 39% of LGBT individuals come out, once as adults. Imagine waking up every morning feeling like you're not even in your own body. Imagine telling someone you feel you were born in the wrong body and they tell you "you'll get over it, we all think that sometimes" WRONG, we don't all think that 'sometimes'.
The National Transgender Discrimination Survey conducts yearly research on the Transgender Suicide rate. Their last study conducted at the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law showed 46% of trans men and 42% of trans women attempted suicide. 26% of LGBT individuals say their biggest problem with coming out is not being accepted by their family and friends. It is evident to them that coming out can be a problem, because then they become more susceptible to bullying, depression, and anxiety.
Coming out, as a transgender, is a difficult time for most individuals. It is a time of grief for the family and a time of growth and realization for the individual transitioning (I wish everyone had accepting family and friends). The coming out process as a transgender individual is much more complex to process, and a respectable, beautiful transition once completed.
The Stages of Transitioning (Transgender):
Discovery and Research
HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)
Living Full-Time & Passing
Living Your Life
Before you go making "gay" jokes, saying demeaning, rude names to individuals who identify as anything but heterosexual, think to yourself, "Why am I against two individuals loving one another?", "Why am I not okay with someone being happy with their life and in their own skin?", "Why would you transition (Male to Female/Female to Male) just to date your same sex?" (Sexual orientation and gender identity are two separate things, thank you very much). Sexuality is not going anywhere, so everyone needs to understand that. The understanding of two people loving each other and other people transitioning into who they really are, is beautiful. Before you go calling someone a "fag" or "queer" think about how you very much could be calling those names to someone who is LGBT and for obvious reasons, won't feel comfortable coming out. You may not realize or believe it, but we all have at least ONE friend or family who identifies as LGBT [...] maybe you aren't aware of it because they do not feel comfortable.
Remind your friends and family you will love and care for them, despite their orientation/identification. Equality can be achieved slowly, it is a very slow process, but awareness and knowledge are the only things that will get us there.
For anyone who hides their sexuality, please don't. There is an entire community of both heterosexual and LGBT individuals behind you to support you and listen. People will ALWAYS judge, it is inevitable. Thus, why we should be ourselves, UNAPOLOGETICALLY. I will obnoxiously and passionately, support the LGBTQI2-S community until, well, the day my voice is gone.
Sooooo, with that being said, I will definitely be writing a separate post more in detail on sexuality terminology (Ex. cis-gender, gender fluid, gender variance, pansexuality, asexuality, etc.)
(P.S. I LOVE all the feedback I have received from both individuals I personally know and others whom I have never even met. I seriously cannot wait to continue posting and not only learning but helping spread awareness and knowledge)
Once again, if you've read this far, thank you for reading!
"One day we won't have to 'come out of the closet.' We'll just say we are in love and that will be all that matters" - Unknown
HAVE A GAY-REAT DAY :)